Hearts set to sign Leeds defender Conor Shaughnessy as Jimmy Dunne’s replacement

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Hearts plan to complete a loan deal for the Leeds United centre-back Conor Shaughnessy today. The 22-year-old will travel to Spain with the Edinburgh club tomorrow, provided all paperwork goes through on time.

Burnley defender Jimmy Dunne will not be returning to Tynecastle Park after spending the first half of the campaign on loan there. His loan expires today and he is likely to be loaned to another English club until the summer.

Conor Shaughnessy is a Republic of Ireland Under-21 internationalist. Pic: Getty

Conor Shaughnessy is a Republic of Ireland Under-21 internationalist. Pic: Getty

That has prompted Craig Levein, the Hearts manager, to bring Shaughnessy north to reinforce his defence on a loan deal which would run until May. John Souttar is recovering from hip surgery and Clevid Dikamona had a thigh problem before returning to action against Hibs last week, so extra cover is necessary in that area.

Like Dunne, Shaughnessy is a Republic of Ireland Under-21 internationalist keen to improve his game by playing regularly in Scotland. He is the younger brother of St Johnstone’s Joe and came through the youth academy at Reading before joining Leeds in 2016.

He has made 15 senior appearances for United over the last two seasons, gaining useful experience of the English Championship, FA Cup and League Cup.

However, he hasn’t secured a regular place in the team since Marcelo Bielsa was appointed head coach at Elland Road last summer. The move to Hearts is designed to get him playing more often.

The Tynecastle side head to Spain tomorrow for a five-day training camp and will play a friendly against Belgian club Lokeren on Friday.